Gregorio Botta - Picking Flowers at the Edge of the Minimum

16 jun. 2022 - 30 jul. 2022

Gregorio Botta - Picking Flowers at the Edge of the Minimum

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Gregorio Botta attempts to create places that invite silence, attention and meditation with his work. The exhibition includes works on paper, wall wor...

Montoro12 Gallery is pleased to present Gregorio Botta’s first solo exhibition in Brussels, Picking Flowers at the Edge of the Minimum. In a lost letter, Walter Benjamin once wrote: “I pick flowers on the edge of the existential minimum.” Gregorio Botta took his cue for the exhibition title from this phrase as it seemed to him the most precise description for the task of art: that of finding fragments, islands of meaning in a shattered world, of creating spaces of contemplation in which it is easier to get out of the prison of the ego and share a broader horizon. For this reason the artist attempts to create places that invite silence, attention and meditation with his work, as he did in his 2020 exhibition at the National Gallery in Rome. In an era of increasingly dematerialized and digital culture, invaded by an incessant river of images, dominated by non-things (as the philosopher Byun-Chul Han defined them), Botta reminds us of the essential and the physical, of the importance of the body -- both ours and of everything else. In fact, Botta works with elements that have an ancient connection with man, that are somehow inscribed in our cultural DNA, such as wax, lead, glass, water, iron, fire, marble, clay, lately also leaves, herbs, flowers and blood: materials transformed into something lighter, aerial, suspended, which speak to us of our fragility and impermanence. There is water which flows on wax or lead plates, gushing from springs that look a lot like wounds. There is alabaster, the brightest and most diaphanous of marbles, which seems to contain a mystery inside: as if a breath had carved into it to deposit something, a gold leaf or a flower petal for example. Then there are the Japanese papers and the wax of Noli me tangere, where leaves and flowers are composed together with traces of blood, as happens in the cell frescoed by Fra Angelico in the convent of San Marco in Florence: a work that seems to welcome pain in the beauty of nature. And there is the wax of the Angels series, small shelters that emanate light, a precious gift hidden in a precious but untouchable interior. Finally, there is the glass of Hölderlin’s Paradise, seven suspended circles that seem to rise in space, bringing with them white clay flowers. Gregorio Botta (1953, Naples, Italy) studied in Rome, where he attended Toti Scialoja's courses at the Academy of Fine Arts, from which he graduated. Since 1990 he has exhibited his work both in galleries and museums in Italy and abroad. Exhibitions in public spaces include the Magazzini del Sale in Piazza del Campo in Siena as well as the Macro Museum in Rome. His solo exhibitions have been hosted by the Contemporary Art Museums of Santiago de Chile and Lima, at the former Pescheria in Pesaro and at the Galleria Nazionale in Rome (Just Measuring Unconsciousness, 2020). His works are in the collections of the Maxxi and the National Gallery of Rome, the Madre in Naples, the Mart in Rovereto, the ECB in Frankfurt, the Certosa di Padula and in the Widespread Museum of the Naples subway. Botta wrote Pollock e Rothko, il gesto e il respiro (Einaudi Stile Libero, 2020) and in the fall of 2022 the book Paul Klee, genio e regolatezza, edited by Laterza will be published.
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